A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Littles is silly but fairly harmless entertainment that's fine for all but the most sensitive children. The theme of small people living secretly among us is classic for a reason; it appeals both to children's love of magic and mystery, and gives them a tiny hero to relate to and root for. The two main characters -- a young brother and sister -- are small, but brave, and youngsters will see parallels between their own lives and those on the screen. Speaking of that smallness, it often lands the Littles in hot water, and that brings about some of the show's scariest moments. Much of the danger is comic; one of the Littles is a pilot who's always getting into trouble in his model plane. But sometimes the danger is pretty scary, as in one episode where two Littles are trapped in cookie-making machinery and in danger of being baked.
What's the story?
Based on a series of novels by author John Peterson, THE LITTLES follows the adventures of a family of tiny creatures, human-like but with tails and pointy ears. Oh, and they're small enough to fit in the palm of a human's hand! Most of the action centers on Lucy (Bettina Bush) and Tom (David Wagner) Little, a young brother and sister pair who are always roaming around trying to solve problems with the help of their human friend, Henry Bigg (Jimmy Keegan). Henry himself is a problem, because Littles have never made contact with humans before. In fact, it's strictly forbidden amongst Littles. But the Littles see the use in their human friend before too long, moving into Henry's wall where they live behind the ducts in a little house made of matchbooks, spools of thread, and other cast-off human artifacts.
Is it any good?
Parents will quickly grow weary of The Littles' one-dimensionality and predictability: Every episode opens with a joke, then a problem happens, then, after the second break, it's resolved.
Filling up time in the middle are gags where characters fall into trash cans, or adventure scenes where the Littles must scale some giant obstacle. Pretty standard cartoon stuff; but the premise enlivens things a little, since small kids universally love the idea of tiny beings who live secretly around us. The humor, plots, and scariness is therefore pitched appropriately at the small-child level. And while adults will likely tune out, kids will forgive the cheesy animation and annoying voices, for the pleasure of the fantasy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it's like to be small in a world where everyone's bigger. Is there anything special that a small person can do that a big person can't? What does it feel like to be small? Do you like being small or do you wish you were big?
Lucy and Tom Little become friends with Henry Bigg, who is a human. Even though most Littles thinks humans are dangerous, Henry helps the Littles because he is their friend. How do you help your friends? What should you do if a friend asks you to do something dangerous?
Sometimes in cartoons, characters do things or experience things we can't or don't in real life. Can you name some things in The Littles that don't happen in your everyday life?
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